News

Boy knocked unconscious by whale

Yamba Paramedics Gavin Bridges (left) and Adam Jarrett debrief after taking 13-year-old Drew Hall to hospital following a collision with a whale near Brooms Head.
Yamba Paramedics Gavin Bridges (left) and Adam Jarrett debrief after taking 13-year-old Drew Hall to hospital following a collision with a whale near Brooms Head. Debrah Novak

GETTING whacked on the head by a whale was the last thing young Drew Hall expected when he headed off fishing with his mum and dad yesterday.

The Maclean family took their dingy out early yesterday morning to try their luck in waters off Redcliffe, just north of Brooms Head.

The family noticed a large number of whales out further, happily keeping their distance.

Drew's mum, Karen, said she was enjoying watching the display of the whales blowing air from their blowholes.

Then, about 7am, the family began to slowly cruise along, looking for a better fishing spot when, without warning, a whale's tail emerged from the water and swiped the top of the boat from the bow to the stern.

“It all happened within seconds,” Karen said.

“I was sitting backwards in the boat looking at Drew and the tail just whacked him and sent him flying into the boat.”

Karen said the whale's tail took the windscreen and the cover off the boat as it swiped it down its length.

She said the whale's tail missed her completely but slammed Drew into the back of the boat.

“I thought Drew was dead. I looked at him and thought he was gone – he was blue,” she said.

“He was totally unconscious. It took about five minutes before we could get him to move or make a noise.

“When he did come round he was going in and out of consciousness all the way back in (to shore).

“We were too busy finding out if Drew was alive or dead to know what happened to the whale.”

Drew was met by paramedics from the Yamba ambulance station and transported to Maclean Hospital for treatment.

The assessment showed Drew had been left with a broken collarbone, a huge lump on his chest and an ‘egg' sized lump on his head.

“I can't believe this. Drew is the keenest fisherman; he just lives to go fishing,” Karen said.

“He did manage to catch two rock cod before it happened, though.”

Just a few days ago, local trawler the El Margo had a whale encounter of its own.

A whale became tangled between the boat and its stay arm before managing to free itself.

Topics:  whale



Police fear for missing teen

Police have made a public appeal to help locate a missing teen.

Police are appealing for information following the disappearance of a teenager

VIDEO: Meet our shark watchers

Shark spotter, Orion, is excited about his new role with Shark Watchers.

Meet Orion Sturch, the 14-year-old who will be droning the sea to save your...

Joey survives after koala stomped on by cow

Dr Pyne said Fraser was "a battler".

"Mum was literally stomped to death"

Local Partners

Historian to explore social histories of Aboriginal communities

A NORTHERN Rivers historian has been awarded the prestigious $30,000 2016 NSW History Fellowship.


This week's Northern Rivers markets list

Craft, art and fresh produce merge at the local markets.

Where to get your fresh produce and coffee from

GALLERY: Summer meltdown with wrestling show

Apollo, the heavyweight champion of the International Wrestling Australia (IWA Pro Wrestling) which will bring its Summer Melt Down Tour to Evans Head in January 2017.

ORGANISERS have promised body-slamming, bone-crunching entertainment

Ten fantastic things to do on the Northern Rivers

CIRCUS ARTS: Superheroes and Supervillains will battle at out at the end of year show.

Superheroes, carols, dance parties and golf this week

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!